This riverside odyssey brings you along the ancient Rhine to picture-postcard towns, imperial cathedral cities, and famed wine country. You’ll begin in Basel, then visit Strasbourg in Alsace and the historic university town of Heidelberg before sailing the stunning Rhine River Gorge, lined with ruins of medieval castles and fortresses. After experiencing Cologne and its majestic Gothic cathedral, conclude your cruise in the grand capital of Amsterdam, with its enchanting canals and culture. Reverse departures are also offered. Optional pre- and post-cruise Land Programs to Lucerne and Zurich are available at an additional charge.
Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.
Basel to Amsterdam Itinerary
Basel / Embarkation
Switzerland’s second largest city is ideally located at the crossroads of Switzerland, France, and Germany. Long an important university, banking, and trade center, Basel’s glorious past is still evident in its medieval Town Hall and exquisite 18th century patrician homes. Tonight, gather on board for a Welcome Dinner...BD
Breisach / Colmar, France
Today, you have three exciting excursions to choose from. The first one is a walking tour of Colmar and Riquewihr. Colmar is a medieval town situated along the Alsatian Wine Route. During your city tour you will see remarkable half-timbered framed houses, the German-influenced Old Quarter filled with streets of unexpected twists and turns, canals, and the Launch River. You will also visit Riquewihr, a picturesque town that still looks like it did in the 16th century. The second excursion you can choose from is a walking tour of Breisach and Freiburg. Breisach is a beautiful town situated along the Rhine River and houses one of Europe’s largest wine cellars. In Freiburg, you will visit its historical city center and visit the Augustinerplatz, site of Freiburg’s Münster, a gothic minster cathedral constructed of red sandstone.
The capital city of France’s Alsace region, Strasbourg is situated on the Rhine at the German border. Here you will enjoy a panoramic bus tour that will take you past the Orangery, the town’s oldest park, the European Parliament, and the Place de la Republique. Afterwards, explore on foot with a walking tour of the lovely “La Petite France” neighborhood, where you will see the Gothic cathedral with its famous astronomical clock. The remainder of the day is yours to spend as you wish. The ship departs tonight for Mannheim.
Mannheim, Germany / Heidelberg / Rüdesheim
Arrive in Mannheim, where you have a choice of one of three excursions this afternoon. Your first option is a half-day excursion to the historic university town of Heidelberg, where you will visit the red-walled castle with its Great Vat (a 49,000-gallon wine cask) and enjoy beautiful views of the Neckar Valley and city below. Or, for your second option, enjoy a hike up the Philosopher's Path up to a panoramic view point of Heidelberg. Your third option is a city tour of Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities, known for its cathedral, numerous churches and the medieval Altpörtel (Old Gate). Continue to Rüdesheim, where tonight you can choose from either a visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum or a Rüdesheimer Coffee excursion.
Rüdesheim / Koblenz
Your exploration of Rüdesheim continues this morning with your choice of one of three excursions: a gondola ride above the town to see the Niederwalddenkmal Statue followed by a wine tasting with a local vintner; a guided bike tour along the Rhine River to one of Germany's best wine regions; or a guided hike to Ehrenfel’s Castle. Afterwards, you’ll have free time to explore the Drosselgasse, the town’s most famous and charming street, a narrow passage lined with shops and taverns. Late risers can skip the gondola ride and still participate in the wine tasting if they’d like. This afternoon, your ship departs for Koblenz and cruises through the Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river, with hillsides dotted with fairy-tale castles. After arriving in Koblenz, your Cruise Manager will take you on a walking tour through this charming town. The ship moors here overnight.
The ship cruises to Cologne today, where you will have a choice of tours. The first is an afternoon walking tour that includes the Old Town, Cathedral Square, and the city’s majestic Gothic cathedral. The second option is a Kolsch Beer and local specialties tasting, and the third is a guided bike tour of the city. The ship departs this evening for Amsterdam.
After arriving this afternoon, your discovery of Amsterdam begins with a panoramic city tour of famed landmarks and photo opportunity at a Dutch windmill, followed by a scenic canal cruise through the city known as the “Venice of the North.” See the beautiful homes that line the water, the fabled Skinny Bridge, and the famous house where Anne Frank once lived in hiding during WWII. Afterwards you’ll walk to Begijnhof, known for its historic buildings dating back to the Middle Ages and have some free time to explore. Alternatively, you could opt for a tour of the Jordaan District, or join an Amsterdam Jewish Heritage excursion. The ship moors here overnight.
Disembark / Depart Amsterdam
Bid farewell to Amsterdam and transfer on your own to the airport for your homeward flight or join our Land Program...B
REVERSE CRUISE PROGRAM
Amsterdam to Basel Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, The Netherlands / Embarkation
Day 2 Amsterdam
Day 3 Cologne, Germany
Day 4 Rudesheim
Day 5 Speyer / Heidelberg
Day 6 Strasbourg, France
Day 7 Breisach / Colmar, France
Day 8 Basel, Switzerland / Disembarkation
ADD ON A PRE-CRUISE LAND PROGRAM
Additional 2 nights Zurich, 2-nights Lucerne pre-cruise, from $1680
Arrive in Zurich, Switzerland
Arrive in Zurich and transfer on your own to your hotel. Spend your day exploring this beautiful town...B
Your morning city tour of Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, includes Grossmünster Abbey (which offers exceptional views of Zurich), St. Peter (which boasts the world’s largest church clock face), Old Town, Town Hall and Fraumünster Abbey, home to five world-famous Chagall windows. The afternoon and evening are free for you to explore the town on your own...B
Zurich / Lucerne
After a free morning in Zurich, check out of your hotel and head off on a scenic drive past three lakes before reaching Viztnau. Upon arrival, enjoy a cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Lucerne, surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. This afternoon, check into your hotel...B
Situated on Lake Lucerne, the city is a medieval gem. After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of this lakeside medieval gem. You will see some of the city’s lovely cobblestone streets, monuments, fountains, public squares, covered bridges and colorful frescoed buildings. The afternoon offers free time to shop for Swiss-made watches, knives and delicious chocolates...B
Basel / Embark
This morning, depart from Lucerne, visiting the Lion Monument en route to Basel. Arrive in Basel for a walking tour and free time to explore on your own before embarking your luxurious river cruise ship. Switzerland’s second largest city is ideally located at the crossroads of Switzerland, France and Germany. Long an important university, banking and trade center, Basel’s glorious past is still evident in its medieval Town Hall and exquisite 18th- century homes. Tonight, gather on board for a Welcome Dinner. The ship departs tonight for Breisach.
The Cruise-Only Program begins with embarkation on Day 5 in Basel.
Please call for details on the post-cruise Land Program for the Reverse itinerary